According to google, one definition of the word paradox is "a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities." Looking back on it, thinking the Twins were going to end up with Yu as their Opening Day starter was quite the paradox. History tells us that the Minnesota Twins and huge contracts are quite the contradiction. Of course there are some who won't ever let us forget the counterexample which would be the Joe Mauer contract that he never lived up to. Outside of that lone example the Twins have rarely given a player whether through an extension or through free agency their big payday. I'm writing this to deliver one message:
It's okay for you to feel frustrated, disappointed, let down, [enter whatever adjective you want] by the Twins not landing Darvish. It's okay. It really is. Furthermore, it's okay to feel that way and still be a diehard Twins fan. You're not a bad person or a bad fan for having this opinion. Contrary to what others say, it is completely fair and logical for this "narrative" to exist and for fans to share this opinion. At the end of the day, we are all allowed to have our own opinions. This is America after all!
Here's my opinion on the "narrative", which you may have seen stated in the comments of a different article. I will say that I agree that there are endless amounts of example of players who get big paydays and then never live up to it. I'm aware of that. But saying that big contracts are "risky" and/or "irresponsible" in Major League Baseball is a complete and utter fallacy in my opinion.
- Baseball has no salary cap. Missing on a big contract doesn't hinder your ability to hand out another big contract to another star. After all, the Yankees are the "evil empire" for a reason.
- As of 2015, the Pohlad family was worth $3.8 billion. That's A LOT of money. Furthermore, they bought the Twins for $36 million and the franchise is estimated to be worth $1.025 billion which amounts to a profit of $989 million. As much as people want to talk small markets and television contracts, money is of little concern to the Pohlad family.
Of course an argument to the second point is that the only way you are worth that much money is by being financially responsible. To which I would say that since giving out the Mauer contract the Minnesota Twins increased their net worth from $405 million to the $1.025 billion mentioned above. That is, they got no where near the production they were hoping for and increased the net worth of the franchise $620 million since then. Not to beat a dead horse, but again there seems to be absolutely no "risk" and/or "irresponsibility" in handing out a big contract.
It would be very one-sided of me to not address the 100% possible case that maybe we offered Yu a key to the city, a 15 year $1 billion contract, and whatever else he wanted but it all still wasn't enough to lure him to the bold north. If it were the case that he just didn't want to come here, then that would obviously be out of control of the Pohlad family. To which I would say, if not now...when? We have so much potential and talent, some of which isn't even in the big leagues yet, and if that can't draw a superstar looking for a ring then when will we ever be able to appeal to a superstar? Not only is our organization at a great spot in potential and talent, but we were just able to show off how great Minnesota can be with the international coverage of the Super Bowl. We were able to show people that, despite the frigid temperatures, Minnesota is a great place to live with great people. So the thought that our organization being where it is and our city recently being surrounded by some major hype can't appeal to a superstar is a saddening reality. Maybe the reality is that Minnesota won't ever appeal to non-homegrown superstars no matter how much money the Pohlads offer them.
So yes, I am frustrated. I'm disappointed. I'm sad. I'm [enter whatever adjective you want] that the Twins weren't able to sign yet another superstar to bring them to the next level. But I love the Twins and will continue to cheer them on. I will continue to follow them once this crop of talent is gone. I'm not only here when things are good, but I'm also here when things are bad. I may not be happy with every decision made, but that doesn't make me (or you) a bad fan.
That's just my opinion, at least. What do you think?